The Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) may initiate criminal proceedings over the death of a Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) full-time national serviceman after he fell into a pump well, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said on Wednesday (16 May).
MHA said in a statement that it will convene a Board of Inquiry (BOI) to review the incident and make recommendations to ensure that such incidents do not recur.
Corporal Kok Yuen Chin, 22, died after falling into the Tuas View Fire Station’s pump well while celebrating his impending operationally ready date (ORD) with his squad mates on Sunday.
One of the activities during the celebration involved getting Kok – who was due to complete his NS stint on Wednesday – into the well.
Based on preliminary investigations, the SCDF said the mishap appears to have arisen “as a result of activities which SCDF has prohibited”.
Following the arrest of two SCDF officers on Monday over the incident, four other officers who were slated to be promoted on 1 June will have their promotions withheld pending conclusion of the investigations.
The two officers who have been arrested will be interdicted from service on half-pay pending the outcome of investigations.
Separately, SCDF Commissioner Eric Yap told SCDF officers in a message that the incident has “damaged the credibility of the Force” and was a clear violation of its rules.
Yap said that he attended Cpl Kok’s wake in Malacca with a few colleagues on Tuesday. “With a heavy heart, on behalf of all of us, I expressed our deepest condolences to his family. I personally assured his father that the SCDF will cooperate fully with the Police investigation and the Board of Inquiry and the outcome will be made known to the family,” he added.
On Tuesday, Yap briefed SCDF Commanders and told them that all Unit Commanders will be held responsible for any unauthorised initiation or ragging activities by any personnel under their charge.